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Consulting, Parenting Resources

How can a Parent Coach help?

Parent coaching

A parent coach is a professional who provides guidance and support to parents in order to enhance their parenting skills and improve their relationship with their children. Here's what a parent coach typically does:

  1. Education and Information: A parent coach educates parents about child development, parenting techniques, effective discipline strategies, and other relevant topics. They provide information and resources to help parents understand their children's behavior and needs.
  2. Assessment and Goal Setting: A parent coach assesses the parent-child relationship and identifies areas that require improvement. They help parents set goals and develop a plan to achieve those goals, tailoring their approach to the specific needs and circumstances of the family.
  3. Problem Solving and Skill Building: A parent coach assists parents in problem-solving challenging situations or behaviors they may be facing with their children. They teach parents practical skills and techniques to handle specific issues and promote positive behavior.
  4. Emotional Support and Empathy: Parenting can be emotionally challenging, and a parent coach provides a supportive and non-judgmental space for parents to express their concerns, frustrations, and fears. They offer empathy and validation, helping parents build confidence and resilience.
  5. Communication and Relationship Building: A parent coach helps parents improve communication with their children and build stronger relationships. They provide guidance on active listening, effective communication techniques, and fostering healthy parent-child connections.
  6. Accountability and Progress Monitoring: A parent coach holds parents accountable for their goals and commitments. They provide ongoing support and monitor progress, helping parents stay motivated and on track.
  7. Customized Approach: Each family is unique, and a parent coach tailors their guidance and strategies to fit the specific dynamics and needs of the family. They respect cultural values and individual parenting styles while offering suggestions and alternatives for improvement.

The overall aim of a parent coach is to empower parents, enhance their parenting skills, and promote positive parent-child relationships. They provide valuable guidance, knowledge, and support to help parents navigate the challenges of raising children and create a nurturing and loving environment at home.

Parenting Resources

Your Child’s Love Language

Free Parenting Classes

To identify your child's love language, observe their behavior and responses to different forms of affection and attention. Here are some steps to help you:

1. Quality time: Notice if your child seeks your undivided attention and enjoys spending one-on-one time with you. They may appreciate activities or conversations that allow for focused interaction.

2. Physical touch: Observe if your child seeks physical contact, such as hugging, cuddling, or holding hands. They may respond positively to physical gestures of affection and feel comforted by touch.

3. Words of affirmation: Pay attention to how your child reacts to verbal praise and encouragement. They may thrive on hearing positive affirmations, compliments, or words of appreciation.

4. Acts of service: Observe if your child values when you do things for them, such as helping with tasks or preparing something special. They may appreciate gestures that make their lives easier or more enjoyable.

5. Gifts: Notice how your child reacts to receiving presents or tokens of affection. They may feel loved when they receive physical gifts and cherish the thought and effort put into selecting them.

By observing your child's preferences and noting their reactions to different expressions of love, you can gain insights into their primary love language. Keep in mind that children may have a combination of love languages, so be attentive to multiple aspects of their behavior and adjust your approach accordingly3.

Parenting Resources, Parenting Tips

Come celebrate Autism Awareness Month with us!

What you will learn:

  • What autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is and is not
  • What research-based therapy options are available for people with autism
  • How to begin services
  • 10 powerful strategies that help children with autism learn new skills and handle big emotions.

Who it is for:

  • Parents who have a child diagnosed with autism
  • Parents who think their child might have autism
  • Parents of adults on the spectrum
  • Educators who who work with students on the spectrum
  • Anyone who would like to learn more about autism

Who will be presenting:

  • Jen is an Educational & Behavioral Specialist who has been in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for over 20 years who is passionate about embracing neurodiversity and celebrating all of our unique gifts!
  • She is a Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA) with a masters degree in special education w/ a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder (M.Ed.).
  • Learn more about her approach here: https://www.alignedparentingservices.com

Do you know of a friend and family member who could benefit from this info? Feel free to pass on the info and ask them to RSVP by emailing: Jen@alignedparentingservices.com

We look forward to meeting you on March 31st @ 11am!

Jen
Founder of Aligned Parenting Services, LLC

Parenting Resources, Potty Training Tips

Get Your Kiddo Excited About Potty Training!

I know it sounds impossible, but I promise there are ways to get your kids to be ok with – and dare I say – excited about potty training!

  • The first step is to introduce the potty in a fun, exciting, and supportive way.
    • One way to do this is to start changing your kiddo’s diaper in the bathroom, so they begin making that connection that pee and poop belong in the bathroom. 
    • After you change their diaper, help them dump their poop in the toilet while waving ‘bye’ and saying “bye bye poo poo”. Then have them follow the rest of the steps of the routine (washing hands, drying hands, etc.)
  • You’ll also want to let them watch you use the bathroom (I know – it’s weird – but it works).
  • Read silly, funny, or informative books about potty training.  Some books I recommend are:
  • Or…better yet…consider creating a personalized potty training book just for your child!  What is this exactly you ask?  It’s a personalized book that has actual pictures of them, their bathroom, their favorite toys, and their favorite undies!  Aligned Parenting Services creates personalized books for kids.  

For more info email: Jen@AlignedParentingServices.com

  • I also recommend allowing your little one to decorate their bathroom with removable window stickers and other fun decorations. This will create a comfortable, personalized atmosphere for your child, which is guaranteed to make the bathroom less scary in their eyes. A PeePee-PooPoo-Palace if you will…
  • Have them teach their doll how to potty training (this one is a particular favorite of kiddos who like playing with dolls and action figures) was 
  • Add some favorite music (or soothing music) to the bathroom area (an Alexa or Google Home is perfect for this!)
  • Consider adding relaxing aromatherapy to the area (lavender is my favorite!)
  • Tell them stories about how you learned to go to the potty (trust me…kids love this and it reminds them that they are not alone). 
  • Lastly, tie in their big motivators into the potty training experience. This could be a variety of things including:
    • Spending uninterrupted  time with a favorite person (wink, wink mom and dad)
    • Going to a favorite place (chuckecheese, amusement park, gym)
    • Have them choose their favorite stickers that can go on their reward system
    • Favorite books or activity books
    • Favorite treats (
    • Favorite movies
    • Favorite games 
    • NEW games and toys

Still not convinced your child will be motivated to begin potty training?  Email me to brainstorm some other idea, or join me for a free potty training parenting class!

Jen@alignedparentingservices.com

ABA Services, Parenting Resources, Parenting Tips

Second Step: Understanding Why Your Child’s Tantruming

Before you begin, I highly recommend you read the blog ‘The First Step to Understanding Why Your Child is Tantruming’, so you can determine the ABCs of your child’s tantruming behavior.  Once you determine the ABCs, we can start analyzing that info to figure out the “why”

So what is the “why”. In the ABA world the “why” is referred to as the Four Functions of Behaviors.  Fancy, right? Don’t let that intimidate you, though. I promise it’s not as complicated as it may seem. 

So here are the Four Functions of Behaviors…drum roll please….

  1. To get attention
  2. To avoid something they don’t like 
  3. To get access to something they want that’s tangible
  4. Because it feels good

Let’s break that down…

#1: To Get Attention – kids often tantrum to get the attention of others. This could be their parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, teachers, strangers.  Just like everything, it depends on the child – and – how those behaviors were “reinforced” in the past.  

  • A common example of this is your child screaming, crying and grabbing at your clothes, while you’re talking on the phone – and not paying attention to them. 

#2: To Avoid or Escape Something They Don’t Want.  This could be an activity (bathtime, homework, etc.), a person (sibling who usually takes their toy), or an area (public restroom because they’re fearful of the loud sounds from the toilets flushing)

  • A common example is a child tantruming after you ask them to eat all their vegetables and they begin screaming, pouting, slouching in their chair, or dropping to the ground. 

#3: To Access Something They Do Want.  This is something tangible and is often a toy, candy/food, electronic device, favorite item (pacifier, stuffed animal, etc.) 

  • A common example of this is a child screaming while waiting in the checkout line because his parents won’t allow him to have a piece of candy.  Sound familiar? 😉


#4:  Because It Feels Good.  We refer to this as wanting to receive “sensory input” or “automatic reinforcement”.

  • An example of this is a child who likes to crash on their backs or hit their head on the ground while they’re tantruming. Sometimes they’re doing this because it feels good internally, but it is not as common as the other three functions. 

Now take a few minutes to pin-point what your child is trying to communicate by tantruming. And remember, it’s very common for behaviors to have multiple functions. In other words, for your child to tantrum for many different reasons depending on the situation. 

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you download the PDF below to help guide you through this process.  When you think you’ve got it, leave a comment below stating your child’s “why”.

Need a little guidance, feel free to make a comment or send me a private message 🙂 

ABA Services, Parenting Resources, Parenting Tips

First Step: Understanding Why Your Child’s Tantruming

The first step to addressing any challenging behavior is to figure out the “why

What do I mean by the “why”?

The “why” is what your child is trying to communicate by engaging in challenging behavior. 

You’ve probably heard me say it before – and I’m going to say it again – behavior is a form of communication. 

So the first step you need to take to figure out what they’re communicating is to figure out what happened right before (aka “the trigger” or “antecedent”) and what happened right after (the consequence).  In the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) we refer to this as the three-term contingency or the ABCs of Behavior:

A = Antecedent

B = Behavior

C = Consequence

From this information, we can determine the “functions” of the behaviors, which is the “why”. Check out the post titled ‘2nd Step to Understanding Why Your Child is Tantruming’ for more info.

So what are the ABCs of Behavior?

A – Antecedent is anything that happens right before the tantruming behavior occurred. Some common examples are:

  • a non-preferred person (even if it’s temporary) walking into the room (ex. sibling who takes your toy)
  • being asked to do a non-preferred activity (ex. homework)
  • a non-preferred item being presented (ex. lima beans, uncomfortable shoes).
  • a non-preferred direction being given (ex. clean up your room)
  • being denied access to a preferred item (ex. candy in the grocery isle)

B – Behavior is any behavior that is observable and measurable. The example we are using is tantruming and for this particular kiddo, it includes screaming, crying, falling to the ground, flaring his arms, etc.). Some common examples:

  • Hitting
  • Biting
  • Self-Injurious behaviors (ex. hitting ones head against a hard surface)
  • Grabbing
  • Property Destruction (ex. breaking toys)
  • Throwing (ex. throwing toys at or away from others)
  • Non-Compliance/Not Following Directions
  • Inattention
  • Task Avoidance

C – Consequence is anything that proceeds the occurrence of the behavior. The consequence is neither “bad” nor “good”…it’s just whatever happens afterward. In the ABA world, we go a step further to say it’s whatever happens after the occurrence of the behavior that either increase, or decreases, the likelihood of the behavior happening again in the future. Common examples (remember none of these are recommendations…just examples of common consequences I see):

  • Telling the child to “stop”
  • Putting the child in time out
  • Taking away a preferred item (ex. Ipad)
  • Ignoring
  • Reprimanding, yelling, scolding, etc.
  • Directing one’s body language towards the child
  • Giving the child a preferred item (ex. candy)

What are the ABC’s of your child’s tantruming behavior? Need some help figuring it out? Check out the attached ABC form.

When you’re finished, feel free to make a comment, or send me a private message with your results.

Want to learn more? Check out the post on ‘2nd Step to Understanding Why Your Child is Tantruming’.

Parenting Resources, Potty Training Tips

6 Signs Your Child is Ready to Potty Train

Ahhh so you’re thinking of potty training. It’s as dirty job but someones gotta do it….

And you’re not sure if your child is ready for potty training. Well, I’m here to save you a lot of time and effort by going over 6 signs you should look for to know if your child is potty training

But first…why is this important?

If your child is not ready, or if you do not prepare him or her in the right way, it can lead to many emotional, behavioral and even physical complications.

What do I mean?

If your child isn’t ready to potty train, let go of their diaper, or give up the control, they are going to resist – resist – resist. Trust me. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can promise you that will happen. 

So the best way to prevent that from happening is to prepare-prepare-prepare. If you want to know all the steps you should follow to make sure you prepare the right way – check out my two videos “What you need BEFORE potty training, “What NOT to do when potty training”, “10 things you need to get BEFORE potty training”. 

So…what are the 6 Signs Your Child is Ready to Be Potty Trained

#1  Take off the diaper as soon as they throw it.  Often times this means tossing or kicking the diaper in the air, on the ground, or at you.   Tip: encourage them to toss it in the trash can, so they start associating the diaper with the bathroom. 

#2  The infamous pee pee dance. If you see your kiddo doing a little dance (with diapers), that means they are feeling the sensations that come about when we have to go pee. 

#3  Hiding in the corner or another spot that’s comfortable. Usually, it’s while facing you with a grunt and red face.  This is particularly common when kids are pooping. 

#4 Pointing at themselves, touching their diaper, or walking up to you after they soiled. This is huge! Communicating to you about their toileting needs is a huge first step in the potty training process. The fact that they are doing it already is going to save you sooo much time in the future. 

#5 Being curious about you going potty, or wanting to stay in the general area to watch you go. Shows they’re interested in figuring out what goes on in there AND that they are not fearful of the process. 

#6 Your doctor says so!!! This is a HUGE factor to consider before potty training. If your child has special dietary, or medical needs, please, please consult with your doctor before potty training. This is especially true for kiddos who struggle with excessive constipation or diarrhea. 

So we just covered 6 signs your kiddo might be ready to potty training. If you have any questions about other signs – leave me a comment below. Or if you think you’re kiddo is ready – “It’s Time” in the message below and I’ll send you an easy checklist to help guide you.

Parenting Resources, Parenting Tips

Your Child’s Behaviors Aren’t “Bad”…

When trying to make sense of your child’s challenging behaviors, I invite you to not categorize them as “bad” or “good”; rather as a form of communication.

What do I mean by that?

We all communicate with others in a variety of ways throughout the day. The most obvious form is verbal communication. Everything from saying, “hi”, to telling someone you “love them” is a form of verbal communication. 

What we don’t tend to focus on are the types of communication that exist outside of verbal communication.

Gestures such as pointing, clapping and waving are all forms of communication. 

Positioning your body towards or away from a communicative partner is a form of communication.

Pushing materials away from someone OR pulling at something is a form of communication.

My challenge for you is to spend the next week observing all the forms of communication you see happening between You and Your Partner. You and Your Children. You and Your Parents. And, instead of labeling those behaviors as “good” or “bad”, separate them into two categories: 

  1. Behaviors you want to Increase (because they result in favorable outcomes)
  2. Behaviors you want to Decrease (because they result in unfavorable outcomes) 

Why should you do this? 

Well, this is the first step to mindfully address any challenging behavior.  Feel free to comment below with any questions and don’t forget to check out the attached guide titled,  ‘Behavior is Communication List’!

Online Parenting, Parenting Resources

8 Reasons to Take Parenting Classes

Many parents wonder if they would benefit from parenting classes. Just like any area of learning – you can never know “too much” and staying up-to-date with recent research in the field will only add to your “bag of tricks”. Here are 8 reasons you should consider it…

  1. Learn how to better understand your child’s developmental needs and what to expect at each stage of life.
  2. Better understand why your child is engaging in challenging behaviors (trantrums, hitting, inappropriate language, property destruction, hitting, biting, self-injurious behaviors, etc.
  3. Learning to recognize your strengths as parents.
  4. Learn how to increase your mindfulness, patience and limit your emotional responses when handling difficult situations with your child.
  5. Learn how to co parent successfully and consistently.
  6. Match your parenting style with your child’s learning style.
  7. Find new ways to motivate and inspire your child.
  8. Stay up-to-date with recent research.

After all…confident, informed and mindful parenting leads to confident, secure and independent children!